Bowling Buds: 50 years of friendship
Saturday mornings spent at the lanes is a tradition that dates back 50 years for four local bowlers.
"Saturday mornings was our deal," long-time bowler Dean Radice, of Stamford, said. "We would see each other every single Saturday morning."
"Saturday mornings when we bowled when I was young, I'd be there before the bowling alleys would open," Radice's friend, Ted Cacciotti, of Stamford, added.
Radice, Cacciotti, and their friends, Tom Duddie and Vito Dinella, are certainly no strangers to strikes and spares. During their school days, they bowled on the same team at Ten Pin in Stamford.
"We had a blast, we really did," Duddie said.
The team won tournament after tournament.
"They used to give us at the bowling banquets our own separate table to put all the trophies on because they wouldn't fit on our table where we were eating," Cacciotti remembered.
In 1971, the team made the paper following one of their competition wins. A memory that seemed like just yesterday as the group recreated the picture at a 50-year reunion. A bittersweet moment as one person was missing: teammate Paul Cacciotti, who died in 2012.
"He helped Teddy get that first strike," Radice said. "He was looking down on Teddy."
Although the buds don't bowl together as much now, they're committed to keeping the sport alive. Radice and Duddie run an adult-junior league at Nutmeg Bowl in Fairfield, where children play against their parents.
"We have a blast,” Duddie said. "We teach the kids about sportsmanship and having a good time and competition, too."
It's a competitive feeling the pals know all too well. But 50 years later, they'll tell you it's about so much more than that.
"We have lifelong friendships because of bowling," Radice said. "That's what it's all about."